NYANZA – A service was held on Sunday, July 27, at Christ-Roi Church in remembrance of the late King of Rwanda, Mutara III Rudahigwa and Queen Rosalie Gicanda.
King Mutara III Rudahigwa was born in 1911. He was enthroned on July 10 1931 and ruled until his death on July 25 1959 in Burundi under mysterious circumstances. His wife, Queen Rosalie Gicanda, born in 1928 died on April 20 1994 during the Genocide.
Antoine Semukanya, who spoke on behalf of the family, said that Rudahigwa was a hero who always had his country’s interests at heart.
“King Rudahigwa advocated for the development of his people and the country. He urged against serfdom, a stance which brought him into conflict with the colonial authorities. He gave to the poor in society and loved all his people,” said Semukanya, adding, that “he sacrificed his life for his country.”
Semukanya said that the love and sacrifice exemplified by the lives of King Mutara III Rudahigwa and Queen Rosalie Gicanda is a heritage for all Rwandans. He described Queen Rosalie Gicanda as a person who “loved and received people well.”
Father Anaclet from Kabgayi Catholic Parish said that King Mutara III Rudahigwa was an ardent Catholic who promoted Christianity.
On October 27, 1946, King Mutara III Rudahigwa dedicated Rwanda to Christ the King. During the ceremony held at Christ-Roi Church, a grand statue of Christ the King was unveiled at the entrance of the Church.
After the memorial service at Christ-Roi Church on Sunday, wreaths were laid on the graves of King Mutara III Rudahigwa and Queen Rosalie situated at Mwima hill opposite the Kings Palace.
According to Semukanya, a grand remembrance ceremony is planned next year to mark 50 years since the death of King Mutara III Rudahigwa. The ceremony was attended by family members, friends and residents of Nyanza, among others.